Friday, May 16, 2014
Modi and his bull-headed zealots
India is heading for a "change" that is yet more sinister than ever before. The country's recent polls marked the culmination of its final jump to decadence, a goal India had been contemplating and sliding towards since long.
Narendra Modi's aggressive brand of Hinduism will not only cause communal riots to get more frequent targeting India's Muslims and Christians, but will also hasten India's fierce brand of nationalism at a breakneck speed which might eventually be difficult even for mainstream Indians to handle.
We are talking about the man who was one of the masterminds of the Gujarat riot in 2002 that brutally killed over 2,000 Muslims; where Hindu executioners took special delight in slashing pregnant women with their swords, opening the womb and extracting the fetus. The ultimatum to the Muslim survivors who were hiding in fear was that they could only return to their destroyed or burned properties if they converted to Hinduism. Modi's involvement in the Gujarat massacre is not an allegation, it's a reality, just as much as Ariel Sharon's involvement in the massacre at Sabra and Shatila in 1982 or the Myanamar government's connivance in the genocide of the Rohingyas. The relief camps for thousands of displaced Muslims have often been described in public statements as "child-breeding centers" by Mr. Modi. In the Wiki Leaks cables he has been mentioned as an "insular, distrustful person" who "reigns by fear and intimidation."
It was Modi's frenzied compatriots who attacked and destroyed the Babri Masjid in the Indian town of Ayodhya in 1992 when another Hindu extremist, A.K. Advani, rode on a refurbished truck turned into a buggy across India showing off his Hindu supremacist leadership and arriving at Ayodhya to oversee the destruction. There are countless allegations of extrajudicial killings carried out by Modi. During his controversial political career, he was barred from entering the United States. But far from clamping India with sanctions for choosing a terrorist of the underworld as its PM, the U.S. will recognize this man as the "PM of the world's largest democracy" with plenty of impressive rhetorical diplomacy in deference to the wishes of Indian hardliners.
Of course the "untouchables" who are at the receiving end of India's archaic caste system should pull up their socks and get ready to do dirtier jobs. Any political power that promotes Hindu traditionalism (in the name of 'modernism') can only widen the gap between so-called "untouchables" and the more privileged ones. Modi himself belonging to the lower middle-class is hardly a reason to presume the possibility of dismissing profound class differences within the Indian society which is a part and parcel of conventional Hinduism.
Narendra Modi is a permanent member of the notorious Hindu nationalist organization, RSS, which has long been inspired by fascist movements of white supremacists claiming "pride of race" as the most important ideology. This organization rejects all policies it sees as being too sympathetic toward the Muslim and Christian minorities. Modi has primarily been focused on instigating the younger generation of Indians with the intent of stirring up a 'revolution' of sorts for creating a "New India." Though he portrays himself by using his past credentials as a "tea-vendor," his closest allies today are India's richest businessmen. Modi began paving his path to strengthen ties with wealthy Indians since the time he was Gujarat's chief minister in 2002 through endless prerogatives and gifts to the country's largest corporations. Majority of India's wealthiest entrepreneurs are now comfortably controlled by Modi's cult, and their coordination has silenced every bit of dissent in the country, particularly from journalists and analysts.
Modi might not intentionally try to isolate India and neither will the world view him as a Hindu fundamentalist (for the simple reason that the term "fundamentalist" is only reserved for Muslims by the Western media). But this man's hardcore traditionalism and racism is bound to carve a silently negative image of his country. Scare tactics by the Congress set aside, it's no doubt true that Modi's presence at the helm will help to bring about a rapid and blatant shift from secularism (whatever bit was left of it in India) to hardcore Hindu extremism to the fullest. It's like the completion of a lengthy task and finally putting a decomposed cherry on a toxic cake. His election campaign of reportedly traveling 200,000 miles in air planes and addressing 500 rallies was a show of his endeavors for ballot box success, not striving for his anti-corruption manifesto. One would need to be much too stupid to be unable to look through that.
You can now expect relations between Pakistan / India to sour unless the Pakistani government decides to act like the Fatah government of Palestine. Any criticism of the Hindu religion will definitely carry dire consequences within the boundaries of the world's "largest democracy." However, the international media will conveniently look the other way as such condemnations are stashed up only for the blasphemy law in Pakistan.
The crackdown in occupied Kashmir by Indian forces and spying / locking up of cell phones and internet sites within and outside Kashmir will get far more rampant. As stated in the Guardian "Muslims have been imprisoned for years without trial on the flimsiest suspicion of "terrorism"; one of them, a Kashmiri, who had only circumstantial evidence against him, was rushed to the gallows last year, denied even the customary last meeting with his kin, in order to satisfy, as the supreme court put it, "the collective conscience of the people."
Democracy was not promoted by the Congress either, which turned into dynastic politics based on absolute power. The gradual disappointment of the Indians made them pick N. Modi on the rebound who offers "modernization without modernity .... offering old and soured lassi in new bottles" in the words of an Indian critic. Emergence of Hindu middle-class nationalists into Indian politics began in the mid to late 1980s who have done absolutely nothing worth mentioning to give a voice to the middle-class nor the lower-class. On the contrary, widening of gap between the haves and the have-nots and wealth being concentrated in the hands of fewer than ever before has led to greater fragmentation of the Indian society and exacerbation of the caste system.
Presently, Modi's Hindu chauvinists are inundating Facebook, Twitter and other networking sites with a string of hate-filled propaganda such as "Pakistani agents," "terrorists," "jihadis," "sickulars" denoting secularism which they view as anti Hindu bigotry.
India needs to create a minimal of 25 million jobs annually to keep the unemployment rate from rising which means its economy must grow at a minimum pace of 10% every year. At present the growth of Indian economy is barely 5% per anum. But even if that goal is achieved by Modi's government (which is next to impossible), it's tagged with another downside. Rapid rise of industrialization and decline of the agricultural system which provided bread & butter to millions of poor Indians for decades in the past has made them more vulnerable and at far greater risk of exploitation by employers of private sector organizations. It's a tough issue to tackle, and it will be interesting to watch what sort of insipid hot-pot Modi cooks out of it.
Category:: Unveiling dirty politics